Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Delicious Remedy

Queasiness, nausea and general stomach sickness are an unfortunate symptom of pregnancy.  And even if you're not actually puking on the regular, it's no fun to be perpetually nauseous.  In comes GINGER!  Ginger is a natural cure for nausea.  I'm sure you spent a few childhood days home from school sipping flat ginger ale and snacking on saltines at the direction of your mother.  There was some scientific reasoning behind her advice.

Three ways ginger settles your stomach and reduces nausea:
  1. Dilates your blood vessels.  This makes you feel warm, reduces inflammation (it can be used as an anti-inflammatory) and alleviates headaches.
  2. It increases the production of saliva and digestion enzymes, which helps remove irritants from entire digestive tract (stomach through bowels), speeds up the digestive process and eases nausea.
  3. It is a serotonin blocker, which also reduces nausea. 

This is what ginger looks like.  It's a root.  And it's a little fugly.

Here are a few delicious foods and drinks to give you a quick dose of ginger:

  • Ginger ale or ginger beer - make sure the ingredients actually include ginger and not just artificial flavoring.  If you've never heard of ginger beer it's a more potent flavored soda with a more potent kick of ginger, it also tends to be sweeter.
  • Ginger tea - Make your favorite tea and let a few slices of raw ginger steep in the water while it cools enough to drink.  Or, make some ginger tea from scratch: 5 slices of raw ginger, boiling water, splash of lime juice, squeeze of honey.
  • Candied ginger (aka crystallized ginger) - Most grocery stores carry this (see below for an Etsy vendor that does!), probably near the dried fruit.  It's just what it sounds like: ginger and sugar in tiny chewable pieces.  The consistency reminds me of dried pineapple and taste is sweet and spicy.
  • Ginger snaps - Cookies!  Buy them or make them, just remember to look on the package if you're buying because not all ginger cookies are actually made from ginger.  Shameful.  I found a recipe on for Double Ginger cookies, which are made with both ground ginger and crystallized ginger.

Etsy vendor Harmless Color makes crystallized ginger (below).  These delicious morsels can be eaten as is or added to muffins or scones for a tangy (nausea reducing) kick.  Sarah, the incredibly cool woman behind Harmless Color, donates a portion of all of her sales to NGO Living Water International.

by Harmless Color
by Harmless Color

Above - 2 ounces of
crystallized ginger

Left - 4 oz. package of
crystallized ginger

This 100% natural ginger lollipop is made by Sweet Lollipop Shop and comes in packs of eight.  The photo alone has me craving a lollipop.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Paper and Press Giveaway!

(email to collect your prize!)

This adorable pocket mirror by Paper and Press could be yours...for FREE.  Or, you could choose from any of the patterns in the Paper and Press Etsy shop for your FREE pocket mirror.  

The Rules:  Go to the Paper and Press Etsy shop, pick out your favorite pattern and post a comment about it (on this blog, BELOW) by 5 pm (EST) on Friday, May 6, 2011.  You can only write one comment, but if you are a follower of Next Stop - Baby, you'll get two entries!!!  

TWO WINNERS will be randomly chosen using after the submissions close.  Remember to check back after Friday (5/6/11) to see if you're one of the lucky winners.

by Paper and Press

Owl Themed Baby Shower, Hoooo-Hoooo

Owls and woodland creatures in general are super hot in the baby world (toys, nursery decorating, clothes, etc.).  As a results of several old South Park episodes that feature woodland critters in less than adorable ways, I'm nixing woodland creatures from this post.  The crude association is forever burned in my brain.  Sticking strictly to owls, here are some of my favorite products to help you host a fabulous owl themed baby shower.


As always, let's start with the invitations.  There are tons and tons and TONS of owl themed baby shower invitations out there.  And, to be a little blunt, I found most to be uninspired and more of the same.  The two invitations below are unique and well executed.  A hoot above the rest.  Huh.

BluGrass makes the invitation below and is happy to customize it for a baby shower (think: "Look whooo's expecting" or "Look whooo's having a boy!).  For Next Stop - Baby readers, BluGrass is offering a 10% discount with the coupon code nextstop-baby10.  Bonus!
by BluGrass
The next invitation is designed and crafted by Designs by Saidi.  The color scheme and wording can be whatever you choose.  Check the Etsy shop (and the matching cupcake toppers below) because Designs by Saidi is offering Next Stop - Baby readers a 10% discount through May 31, 2011 when you mention Next Stop - Baby during your purchase process!
by Designs by Saidi


I love these owl cake toppers by {the paige spot}.  The aqua and lime green combo is my favorite - it's modern and gender neutral.  But, as you see, the color combo can be anything you want!  Through May 22, 2011, {the paige spot} is offering a 15% discount (not valid on rush orders) with the coupon code: LOVEOWLS 

by {the paige spot}

by {the paige spot}

Designs by Saidi also makes these sweet cupcake toppers (see matching invitations above).  The lavender is a nice alternative to pink for a baby girl shower.  Remember to mention Next Stop - Baby and get 10% off your purchase through May 31, 2011!

by Designs by Saidi


These owl lollipops by Five Sisterz come in vanilla (the pink pops below), milk chocolate, white chocolate and peanut butter.  They would make perfect baby shower favors and starting on 4/23/11 they are offering free shipping for their entire Etsy shop!  Take advantage.  

by Five Sisterz
by Five Sisterz

This adorable pocket mirror by Paper and Press is another great choice for a baby shower gift because it's a gift that your guests will actually use.  I love the colorful pattern and I LOVE that Paper and Press is GIVING AWAY 2 sets of their pocket mirrors to one luck reader of Next Stop - Baby!  Click HERE to enter.

by Paper and Press

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Posh Pipsqueak Discount

The friendly folks at Posh Pipsqueak are offering Next Stop - Baby readers a 20% discount on their first purchase through May 31, 2011.  Enter the coupon code NEXTSTOP20 to redeem your discount.  Happy shopping!!!

Visit to check out all the cute stuff

Posh Fuzzy Legs

Posh Legs in wide stripe

Pregnancy Fake Outs

You feel unusually bloated.  You almost barfed at the mere whiff of your co-worker's seemingly potent death breath.  You're cranky beyond the typical Monday blues.  And, weren't you supposed to have gotten your period a few days ago?  All signs are pointing to bun in the oven....until you remember that you opted for the pizza instead of salad at lunch, your co-worker apologizes because she was in a garlic eating contest over the weekend, it's finally Tuesday and you get your period.  Not preggers after all.

Pregnancy fake outs happen.  For some women, the first couple (or more) decades of their life are spent avoiding pregnancy at all cost.  Through these years, a pregnancy fake out is an anxiety-filled, heart-attack-inducing, fear fest.  It's a time in a woman's life when, for any number of reasons, she's simply not ready to be pregnant.

When a woman steps from the pregnancy-avoidance phase to the pregnancy-please phase, a pregnancy fake produces the exact same feelings of anxiety and fear...but in a completely different way.  What was once anxiety over the prospect of having a child in an unprepared life becomes anxiety over not having a child in a fully prepared life.  The fear of having becomes the fear of not having.

I'm not sure which is worse.  But, I think that as bad as it is on either side of the line, pregnancy fake outs are a good (and important) reminder of the significance of pregnancy.  Because it's not just pregnancy, it's a baby and it's not just significant, it's fucking huge.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bun In The Oven Contest

This is a game of who can come up with the best euphemism for "a woman who is pregnant."  The prize (like all contest prizes on Next Stop - Baby) is profound public acknowledgment that you are clever and witty beyond all other competitors.

You know the standard phrases for the state of pregnancy:

  • bun in the oven
  • preggers
  • with child
  • pea in the pod
  • knocked up
  • in the duff

Now you try coming up with something original.  Post your entry as a comment (below) and feel free to post as many entries as you'd like.  I'll pick a winner at some point...

My entry (it doesn't count) = Looks like she's got a pickle in the jar.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Off the Registered Path - Holiday Gifts

Here is another category of gifts that you won't find on the baby shower registry - holiday related gifts.  In considering whether to go off the registry for this kind of gift, a particular holiday should strike you as one that's special to the parents-to-be.  If nothing jumps out, one of these gifts might not be a winning choice.  Or, you'll never go wrong sticking to the registry and adding one of these gifts as an extra.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY - For Irish families or families that simply love this beer-drinking, luck-coveting, green-wearing holiday these gifts will get some instant laughs and long term joy.

This pacifier is funny, adorable, gender-neutral and so inexpensive ($3.00 on that it would be a perfect extra with a gift from the registry.

This hysterical onesie is handmade by Nesting Project.  It's a great gift for a mom and dad with a sense of humor about their future of diaper duty.

by Nesting Project

FOURTH OF JULY - These would be awesome gifts for a family who has a big, annual 4th of July barbeque.
This adorable, patriotic onesie by We Choose Joy could be equally festive on President's day and Election day...should either be significant holidays for the gift receiving family.  We Choose Joy incorporates eco-friendly materials in their handmade pieces.
by We Choose Joy

This book by Joan Holub (Fourth of July, Sparkly Sky) is educational, beautifully illustrated and part of a series that includes books about Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day and Chanukah.

THANKSGIVING - This is a holiday all about family and gratitude, which makes it a perfect focus for a baby shower gift.

This Thanksgiving bib is too cute and you might recognize it from Bethenny Ever After (baby Bryn wore it for her first Thanksgiving)!  For $2.99 you can purchase a set of 3 from


This turkey hat by Just Be Happy Crochet cracks me up.  I love it.  I think it's adorable and would be a fun, festive  addition to your baby shower gift.

by Just Be Happy Crochet

HANNUKAH - These sweet gifts will help the new baby jump right into Hannukah traditions.

These onesies by Max and Magnolia are awesome.  They are somehow adorable and stylish.  They have long and short sleeve options in tons of colors.  For those who don't know, the orange onesie (top) features a "Chai" - a hebrew letter meaning life.  Beautiful.

by Max and Magnolia

by Max and Magnolia

CHRISTMAS There are tons of great choices for Christmas related baby gifts.

This ornament making kit by Child to Cherish lets the parents-to-be make an ornament from the new baby's handprint.  The homemade results is unique and priceless.

Here is a similar option from Carter's that includes silver frames for a handprint and footprint.  Both options are great for a crafty mom-to-be. 

I love, LOVE this next ornament.  It's handmade by MaternalNEST and I think it would make a fantastic edition to your baby shower gift.  The front is stamped with the baby's name (which could be "Baby Smith/Jones/Etc." if you don't know) and the back is stamped with the year.  So sweet.

by MaternalNEST

Christmas Stocking - There are tons of choices for Christmas stockings.  Pottery Barn embroiders all of their stockings and you can get them at good discounts on the off season.  The mrowe Etsy shop (featured in the Earth Loving Baby Toys post) makes customized stockings, just contact the maker through Etsy and tell her your ideas for color, size, etc.  If the parents haven't publicized their baby name choice, a plain stocking or an IOU to personalize the stocking work perfectly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Things I Don't (Want to) Know

Did you know that for days/weeks following the delivery, a woman will feel pain in her uterus due to the natural process of resizing (read: downsizing) its shape back to normal?  These pains can be the same or more intense than labor itself.  Wha?!  Last week, I was the unfortunate recipient of this information during an unfortunate conversation.  At the soonest available moment following this chat, in a state of complete disbelief, I did a little online research and the horror story was confirmed.

This fact falls into a big, deep category of things that I don't know about pregnancy.  It can also be characterized as a fact that I don't (didn't) want to know.  When it comes to all the weird, gross and horrific things that accompany pregnancy, I'd rather stay in the dark, keep my head in the sand and cross that bridge when I come to it.

I've spent the more recent half of my life fantasizing about the sheer joy of having a child.  I'm vaguely aware that maintaining a state of sheer joy from conception through birth is unrealistic - there will be moments of pain (perhaps agony), anger, disgust and fear - but I'd rather remain ignorantly blissful until I am in fact pregnant and the truth is unavoidable.  On the other hand, worrying about the gruesome folklore is completely avoidable.  When the truth is eventually forced upon me, I want my licensed and certified and practiced doctor to explain it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Earth-Loving Baby Toys

Even though the word eco-friendly cannot be found in the urban dictionary, it's certainly becoming a staple in everyday living and everyday language.  It means friendly to the environment and usually describes consumer products.

When it comes to baby relevant items, eco-friendly toys are everywhere.  So, let's start with why one would choose an eco-friendly toy (over a non-eco-friendly one).  Babies put things in their mouths.  Lots of things.  Everything.  And most certainly their toys.  Eco-friendly toys are non-toxic thereby keeping nasty chemicals out of a curious baby's mouth.  Also, like all eco-friendly items, they are made of reused, recycled and/or biodegradable materials making them a better choice for our Earth.

Here are some great eco-friendly toy options:
The mrowe Etsy shop features toys made from repurposed sweaters.  All materials are washed before transformation and hand-sewn into adorable stuffed animals like the turtle and owls below.
by mrowe

by mrowe

Next up, Smiling Tree Toys.  These crafters considered all angles of eco-friendliness in making their wooden toys: the wood is locally grown, finished with organic flaxseed oil or local beeswax and the end result is shipped in eco-friendly packaging.  AND, get 10% off your purchase through April 30, 2011 with the coupon code: 10offnextstopbaby

Top - 30 piece building block set
Left bottom - Guitar baby rattle
Right bottom - Giraffe Teething Toy
(all by Smiling Tree Toys)

There are a many toy options at
many price points.
Finally, these toys are crafted from eco-felt, which is material made from recycled plastic bottles.  Cool.  Designer and maker Pixiekids Toys offers an incredible variety with something for every(little)one.  
by Pixiekids Toys

by Pixiekids Toys
by Pixiekids Toys

Monday, April 18, 2011

Posh Pipsqueak Giveaway

GIVEAWAY CLOSED - Winner is Alexandra! 
(see below)
Alexandra, please email to receive your Posh Legs!!!

Yes!  Another giveaway thanks to Posh Pipsqueak.  The giveaway (free) item is ANY product made by Posh Pipsqueak in the Posh Legs collection that you choose.

Here is how it works.  Go to and pick out your favorite item from the "Posh Legs" collection.  Post a comment (on this blog, BELOW) about your favorite Posh Legs product and include the website link in your comment.  You must post by Friday, April 22nd at 5 pm (EST).  You can only write one comment, but if you are a follower of Next Stop - Baby you will get two entries.  I will pick a random winner using and post the winner on Friday.
Example Comment: I love the Spring Dots Posh Legs because they're colorful and feminine

You can't add the photo to your comment, but I can.
How cute!

AND THE WINNER IS...Alexandra!
(As proven below by a photo of my screen)

The 4th Caption Contest

Big Thanks to Posh pipsqueak for this photograph (Winner Chosen).

Do you girls think these bath salts will help with my cellulite?
My bum is so wrinkly!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How Much To Spend On a Baby Shower Gift

This post has a very to-the-point title, unlike the post itself.

I received the following comment on one of my early posts, "What is the appropriate amount of money to spend on a baby shower gift?"  I've taken my sweet time answering this question because it's a tough one.

Googling this question brought me to an endless list of Q&A forums, most of which focused on co-worker baby showers.  Apparently it's a common stress to determine how much to spend on a co-worker's baby shower.  In case you're wondering, the maximum money suggested was $30.  Most answers were less, especially when it concerned contributing to a joint gift.

More generally speaking here are three pieces of advice I found from the consensus of the online public:

  • Minimum of $20 - I don't agree with minimums, so poo poo to the online public.
  • Depends on your financial capabilities - Yes and YES.  This is the most important consideration,  it's unique for everyone and it changes over time.  The amount should be comfortable for your budget.  
  • Depends on your relationship with the mother/parent-to-be - Definitely something to consider in that you will likely want to spend more money for your sister's baby shower than your distant-see-once-a-year cousin's baby shower.  

If you're having trouble, look at all the gifts on the baby shower registry and think about what you would buy for someone who is incredibly special and close to you.  This is probably an easier answer.  Use that gift/cost as a maximum.  Maybe you want to spend your maximum or maybe you want to work backwards depending on your relationship and current income.

Bottom line, there is no mathematical algorithm and any gift will be greatly appreciated.  A mother-to-be that wouldn't appreciate a gift, whether it's cost-less or super expensive, isn't the kind of mother-to-be worth stressing over in the first place.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Robot Shower, Beep Boop

Another trendy party theme that easily works in the baby realm - robots.  It's a popular because it's retro and it's a great for a baby shower because it's playful.  Robot decorations lean masculine, but if you choose a blatantly feminine color palette (pink and purple) you could easily work a girly robot baby shower.  For baby-boy-to-be robot shower I found that the color combination of blue, green and orange is a favorite of designers and crafters.  Per usual, I've pulled together some inexpensive ideas to help with your shower planning.

This first invitation can be fully customized by maker bn designs.  The cards are made of 100% recycled card stock (bonus) and the set comes with either white or matching colored enveloped.

by bn designs

This next invitation is printable (you buy the software file and print yourself) and designed by Ella B Photography.  The purchase comes with printable circles that you can use to make cupcake toppers, favor tags, signs...anything your creative mind can imagine.

by Ella B Photography
by Ella B Photography
by Ella B Photography

These party favor tags say "Thanks a BOT for coming to my party."  Hysterical.  These are designed by Toadally Cute and they are totally cute, huh. 

by Toadally Cute

Here are some colorful, robotic napkins.  The pack of 16 comes with a mix of red, yellow, green and blue (all four shown below).

Finally, party favors for your party favor tags.  Everyone uses magnets and some people (like me) use a lot of them.  Here are two Etsy crafters that make adorable robot magnets for a perfect fit with your theme.  

These robot magnets are made by Katie LeRoy Custom Creations.  They come in sets of 6 for $8.00, not too shabby.
by Katie LeRoy Custom Creations

And these are made by Anna Tillet Designs.  They come in sets of 3 (again with the blue, green, orange) and cost $4.50.  
by Anna Tillet Designs

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Opinion of Strangers

Last fall I participated in a name claiming session.  That's right.  My friends and I went around in a circle and listed the handful of names that were strong contenders for our someday babies.  I characterize this event as a claiming session because no opinions were solicited and I'm pretty sure that no opinions were welcome.

I've talked about my favorite names with friends on many occasions.  The names have evolved over time, but the point of the discussion is always the same - calling dibs.  It's about staking claim and not about seeking anyone else's two cents.

While unconditional approval in this department is the appropriate response (not necessarily the honest one), I wouldn't mind having someone else's genuine opinion.  At the same time, polling my friends wouldn't quite work.  Heaven forbid a close friend hated one of my gems, it would spoil the name forever and probably leave me a bit salty.

But...what about polling strangers?  Anyone can create a baby name poll on and strangers can and will respond, sometimes with serious...passion.  I like this method because it gets the opinions without getting personal.  And, the different perspectives drum up considerations that you may have missed.  Just be prepared for some name bashing, it's inevitable.  Go in with a thick skin and an open mind.

Other fun uses for the Baby Name Genie polling tool:
  1. Do some name bashing yourself on other people's polls 
  2. Check out name ideas that others are testing out, while it's not cool to steal a name that your friend has claimed there is no rule against stealing a stranger's name idea!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bunny Buddy Blanket Giveaway!

Bahar - please email to receive your Buddy Bunny Baby Blanket

This is just what it sounds like.  Wish Fulfilled has generously offered to giveaway (yes, free) one of its adorable bunny buddy blankets!  You pick the color.  And just in time for Easter.  Fantastic.

Here is how to enter to win this great giveaway: Go to the Wish Fulfilled etsy shop, check out all the cool stuff offered and post a comment (on this blog, BELOW) about your favorite item by Friday, April 15th at 5 pm (EST).  And that's it.  You can only write one comment, but if you are a follower of Next Stop - Baby you will get two entries!!!  Bonus.  I will pick a random winner using and post the winner on Friday. 

Check out Wish Fulfilled on Facebook!

(As proven by the below photo of my screen)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dino Shower, Rawr

You know from my post A Dinosaur Tribute that I love dinosaurs.  Not only do they inspire great gifts, but they are a fun, gender neutral baby shower theme.  Here are some (inexpensive) ideas for throwing a first class dino themed baby shower.

Invitations - Let's start with the invitations because that's where the shower itself will start.  Here are a couple cool options from Etsy.
This invitation is from Jayme Marie paper designs.  The example below is for a 5th birthday, but Jayme Marie assures me that the design can be easily customized for a baby shower.  She makes the custom design, you buy the pdf file and print it at home or at your local print shop.  I love the shape, which fits in a standard business envelope. 

This baby shower invitation (below) is designed and customized by AKSheridan.  It is also a printable invitation (you buy the file and print yourself) and is also adorable.  I love the multi-color "Baby."    

Color Scheme - Different shades of green with touches of accent color would be wonderfully dinosaur-esque.  For example, green napkins and paper products (plates and cups) and purple and yellow balloons with all three colors used to decorate the cake.  These green paper napkins are $1.89 (per 50 pack).  Cheap and perfect.

Balloons - Don't underestimate the power of balloons.  They turn any occasion into a party.  These polka dot balloons by Blooming Babies Market (below) are $8.50/dozen or $12.75/eighteen.  While they are not dino-shaped and don't have dancing dinosaur patterns, they are tasteful, fun and can easily work within your theme without over saturating it.  You can mix and match your order with any color combination.

Dessert - Baby shower guests love (and expect) food.  Desserts are always a hit.  It might be a little much to make a dinosaur shaped cake, so how about some cupcakes in dinosaur cupcake liners.  I also found a dinosaur cupcake kit (below) that includes both cupcake liners and toppers.  Genius.  And I love these adorable toppers by Snippy Lou's (below).  They can be color customized!

by Snippy Lous


Favors and Gifts - How about dinosaur cookie cutters.  There is nothing like a TRex shaped sugar cookie.  Or a dinosaur sandwich crust cutter?  It removes the crust and gives you two perfectly shaped brontosaurus halves.